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newbie with question about first bike(11 posts)

newbie with question about first bikegsgal
May 21, 2003 9:02 AM
I bought a Lemond Tourmalet about two weeks ago, and have ridden it almost everyday since, about 20 miles a day. its my first road bike.

lately when i'm riding at a steady 15mph pace and flat road, my gears just shift on their own. i'll hear a click-click-click noise and they just seem to "drop". its happening in the cassette. it only happens when i'm going along pretty steadily on flat road. why is it doing this?

i do plan to take it in, i just wanted some ideas... i'd like to get to know my new toy better!
Cable stretch. Shop can adjust in a jiffy. nmBrooks
May 21, 2003 9:22 AM
See our FAQ ...OldEdScott
May 21, 2003 9:26 AM
Oh wait, we don't have one yet.

See Park Tools' FAQ. You need to adjust your rear derailleur cable just a hair.
See our FAQ ...gsgal
May 21, 2003 10:24 AM
whoa cool website, just what i needed to get up close and personal with my bike. thanks.
The Tourmalet isOldEdScott
May 21, 2003 10:35 AM
a terrific bike to get into road riding on. You chose well.
yes, i LOVE itgsgal
May 21, 2003 10:57 AM
i love every second on that bike. but, man road bikes are money-suckers. i'm already eyeing more stuff i "need". i need to switch out the pedals, i'd like aero bars... the list goes on and on. i still love it though.

and when i can work on my derailleur, i'll be HOT.
HOT wasn't built in a day, butOldEdScott
May 21, 2003 11:14 AM
use that Park Tools website and the temperature will slowly ratchet up!
cable stretch...rockbender
May 21, 2003 9:32 AM
I am assuming that you bought a new bike from a bike shop (congrats by the way - nice choice!).

All the new parts are getting a chance to 'break in', which includes the shifter cables. The cables will initially stretch and the housings will seat themselves enough to cause a noticible difference in shifting.

Your bike, if bought new, should have included a free one month tune up where they check over the whole bike making sure the der.'s are correctly adjusted, brakes are adjusted, and wheels are true.

For a quick fix to get rid of that annoying 'click, click, click,' there is a barrel adjuster on the back of the rear derailleur where the cable comes out. Looking at the from the back towards the front of the bike, turn the barrel in the direction that the chain needs to move (in your case, it sounds like a 1/4 or 1/2 turn counterclockwise might be needed).

For more descriptive advice, see, or go talk to your bike shop!
re: gears shifting on their ownFredrico
May 21, 2003 11:05 AM
That's when the rear derailleur drops down to it's outer detente position, sliding the chain over the freewheel cogs to end up on the smallest cog. That's most commonly caused by a loose shifter cable. The cable pulls out of the hold down clamp on the derailleur, slowly slackening, and letting the derailleur return to its detente position.

If the cable is not slack when the derailleur is in detente position, and moving the shifter still cleanly produces one change in gear, then something else is causing the "drop." If the frame flexes as when mashing a big gear or climbing, the frame will stretch the cable and it will "upshift" on its own. If the shifter clicks when the shift happens, the detente on the click shifter isn't holding. Mechanically, it's as simple as that: the shifter moves from one click stop to the next, pulling a cable hooked up to the derailleur, which shifts the chain from one cog to another.

First, take out slack in the cable. Then adjust the thumb ring on the cable housing next to the shifter, which will tighten or slacken the cable, so that the detentes on the shifter match the spacings between the gears, the chain cleanly shifts from one cog to another, and ends up centered on each cog. If the adjustment is way off, the chain isn't lined up on the cog, it could slip down to the next cog, too.

Have fun getting to know your new toy. Unlike any other machine, it is straightforward, guileless, and knowable. It will become your fast friend.
reply from a shop employeerussw19
May 21, 2003 11:40 AM
Everyone who told you the problem was cable stretch is absolutely correct. I just wanted to add some advice and explain why I would tell you to do this. First, this comes off the assumption that all shops give a 30 day check up. Every shop I know of does it, but there may be some that don't. If your shop told you to bring the bike in for a check up in 30 days, DO IT! Even if you figure out how to adjust your own derailleur! Take it in. And when you do, ask the shop to show you how to do this adjustment, but still take it to them.

Bikes come with braided stainless steel cables. Pull on them and they stretch... just like your little sister's hair when you were 12. Housing compresses.. add the two, and your cable is loose and your bike ghost shifts. That's what's going on.

But you should still take your bike in. As a shop guy, I like to see the bikes we sell after they break in some. I know to look for a loose headset, and to check the tension in your wheels, and to double check your crank bolts... etc.....
Once you put some time on your bike, things will seat themselves where they are gonna stay and if parts loosen up initially, I know what to look for. I 100% recommend you take your bike to the shop for the check up because they know to look for things you may overlook. And while you are there, ask the shop if it is OK for you to watch what they do so you can keep an eye on it too. Some shops don't like that, I personally love it if a customer wants to learn about their own bike. It improves interaction between them and me, and it also gives me a chance to look for problems before they develope. The best example is for me to check crank bolts before the crank arm wallows out and falls off.

So again, if they offered you a check up... take it in! Let them look at everything, it's why they offered it to you, so take advantage.

And by the way, I work at a shop that sells LeMonds, the Tourmalet is a great entry bike. It has a decent parts mix, but it has classic LeMond racing geometry, something a few lower end bikes don't do is have the same geometry as the high end bikes... it makes it impossible to upgrade those types of bikes. The Tourmalet is nice choice.

Have fun riding,

as i was reading Park Tool, i got to thinkinggsgal
May 21, 2003 11:55 AM
that i'm going to keep reading for sure, but the best thing I can do at this point is take it in. i definitely will watch them repair, as i am very interested in doing it myself in the future. but right now, i dont know enough.

i'm really pleased with my LBS. he really steered me toward the Tourmalet and was really cool, absolutely no pressure whatsoever. he told me to ride it for a long time, go home and think about it and not to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a high-end bike. i rode a Bianchi Imola, and a couple of Treks. i'm very happy to hear people seconding that i made a good choice. I'm going to get my daily mileage up and start searching out a buddy to ride with!